What's the future of tattoos?
3 years ago
Tom Baker Quib.ly Staff Writer Derby, UK
Before they were mainly used a forms of self-expression (which usually came at the expense of parents' sanity/credulity/temper); in the near future, meanwhile, tattoos could let you know your phone's ringing, be scanned by doctors to find your medical history, or just display your favourite animated gif.
Okay, so I'll go ahead and start with the last one, cos I bet that elicited a few 'WTFs' (or just incredulous 'W's). Artist Anthony Antonellis had an RFID inserted into his hand that can transmit an animated gif (or any image he likes) to mobile phones. He's not the first to try his hand at an animated tatto either. Freaky.
Freaky, but kinda neat. Whilst that chip would be pretty painful to dig out, tattoo removal is probably going to get even easier in the future (deep sigh of relief, parents). Easily removable ink could let a single blast by a laser dissolve a piece of skin art, with biodegradable ink – which would get zapped and dissipate into your bloodstream – are plausible too.
More permanent are the plans by phone companies like Nokia and Motorola who have patents on 'tattoos' that would let you feel your phone ringing and answer it through your skin, respectively.
Slightly less terrifying are the 'biostamps' that act like temporary tattoos, 'a thin electronic mesh that stretches with the skin and monitors temperature, hydration and strain' which could be used for everything from helping you avoid sunburn to monitoring sugar levels in diabetics. Useful, sure, but definitely not as cool looking as the Fireman Sam temporary tattoos I plastered myself with as a kid. Definetly.